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Potsdam Central Athletic Hall of Fame Class of 2013 announced

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POTSDAM - The Potsdam Central Athletic Hall of Fame has announced the Class of 2013.

Five former Sandstoner standouts and four teams are slated for induction along with two other individuals who have made longtime contributions to PCS Athletics. The enshrinement ceremony is slated for Saturday, September 14, at the A.A.K. Middle School Cafeteria.

The five Outstanding Athletes slated to be welcomed into the hall are Stanley MacDonald (1956-60), Norman Bell (1963-67), Daniel Charlebois (1965-69), James Williams (1996-2001) and Lauren Karis (1997-2002). The four teams are the 1995, 1996, 1997 and 1998 Girls Track and Field Teams.

The two others slated for induction are John Turcotte, a Potsdam Central graduate and former Daily Courier-Observer sportswriter, for his Outstanding Contributions to PCS Athletics and Ernie LaBaff, who is slated to receive the Gertie LaBaff Community Service Award.

Hall of Fame weekend activities begin on Friday, September 13, with a golf outing at the Potsdam Town and Country Club starting at 10 a.m. A tailgate party is slated for 7:30 p.m. Friday night.

On Saturday, the unveiling of the Hall of Fame Wall at the Gillette/Saunders Physical Education Complex is set for 12:30 p.m. followed by the Hall of Fame Football Game at 1:30 p.m. against Canton Central. This year’s inductees will be introducted at halftime of the game.

The dinner and induction ceremony at the AAK Middle School cafeteria at 5:30 p.m. The public is welcome to attend any and all of the ceremonies. The cost of the dinner is $17 per person. Checks should be made payable to; PCS Athletic Hall of Fame, PO Box 902, Potsdam, NY 13676.

For more information about the Hall of Fame activities, contact Sarah Fiacco at 268-0639 or stonerbear84@hotmail.com.

What follows are descriptions of Class of 2013 inductees.

POTSDAM CENTRAL SCHOOL ATHLETIC HALL OF FAME

Class of 2013

GERTIE LABAFF COMMUNITY SERVICE MEMORIAL AWARD

This award was established in memory of Gertie LaBaff by the family in 2004. With Gertie in mind, the three traits the recipient must possess include hard work, dedication and a community spirit. A perpetual plaque is on display in the hallway of the Gillette-Saunders Physical Education Complex and a smaller plaque is presented to the recipient.

Ernie LaBaff (1947-1951)

Ernie has been a staunch supporter of PCS athletics since his high school years. While in high school, Ernie was a member of the football, hockey and baseball teams. He was inducted into the PCS Athletic Hall of Fame in 2008 as one of the ‘Select 17’ for their excellent performance in all three sports.

Ernie has held many positions in the North Country. He was a member of the St. Lawrence County legislature, was Chairman of the St. Lawrence County Industrial Development Agency, and served as vice-president, then president of the Aluminum, Brick, and Glass Workers Union International to name a few. He has received several NYS Labor Recognition Awards during his career. Ernie is a member of Who’s Who in American Labor.

Ernie has been involved with the PCS Athletic Hall of Fame since its inception. He and his wife Gertie were on the original committee that organized and presented the first class into the Hall of Fame in 2004. Ernie has served as President of the Hall of Fame Board of Directors and is currently serving as Vice-President.

Ernie’s interests include politics, hunting, fishing, and golf. He is a member of several community organizations such as the Knights of Columbus, the American Legion, the Elks’ Lodge, the Weller Mountain Hunting Club, the Potsdam Town and Country Club, as well as others.

Ernie certainly exemplifies the traits of hard work, dedication and a community spirit that this award represents. It has been said that whatever he is involved in, Ernie ‘makes a difference.’

OUTSTANDING CONTRIBUTION TO PCS ATHLETICS

John Turcotte (1968-1972)

John is a 1972 graduate of PCS. He played two years of varsity football and was inducted into the PCS Athletic Hall of Fame, Class of 2005, as a member of the 1971 undefeated football team. John also played two years of varsity baseball for the Sandstoners and was named to the All-Northern Team each year. He went on to play college baseball at LeMoyne College for two years before transferring to Potsdam State where he played two more years, serving as captain for the Bears his senior year. Before graduating in 1977, John also was a member of the first varsity hockey team at SUNY Potsdam. In 1985, he earned a Master’s Degree from St. Lawrence University.

For the past 24 years, John has been a Sportswriter and Photographer for Johnson Newspapers, working for the Watertown Times, Daily Courier-Observer, Ogdensburg Journal and the St. Lawrence Plaindealer. Much of his time has included covering Potsdam Central School athletics and writing features on numerous Sandstoner athletes and coaches. John has been honored by the New York State Athletic Administrators for his sports writing.

John has played a large role in coverage of the first ten years of the PCS Athletic Hall of Fame for the Daily Courier-Observer. Through his photos and articles, PCS athletes have received the public recognition they deserve for their outstanding accomplishments.

John is currently semi-retired but still writes features for Johnson Newspapers. He and his wife, Judy, reside in Canton in the winter and at Higley Flow in the summer.

OUTSTANDING INDIVIDUALS

Stanley MacDonald (1956-1960)

Athletically, Stan spent his four years at PCS concentrating on hockey. He played for Coach Sloan his first three years and Coach Porter his senior year. He was the starting goalie for the team his freshman through senior years.

In his freshman year, the team finished with an overall record of 10-3-1. His sophomore year, the team lost to Canton twice and ended up at 9-2. They played five exhibition games that year, winning four and tying one. As a junior, the team improved to 7-1-1 in the league. They won the Lake Placid and Clarkson tournaments and placed 2nd in the SLU tourney. With an overall record of 10-2-1, the team was named ‘Class A Northern League Champions.’ In his senior year, Coach Porter referred to the team as “….a bunch of ham & eggers….a fabulous group who worked hard.” With the best record in the history of Potsdam hockey, they finished 13-1-1 overall. They won the Lake Placid, SLU and the Clarkson tournaments. This accomplishment earned them their second consecutive ‘Class A Northern League Championship.’

Stan amassed a personal record of 48 wins, 8 losses in his high school career. This outstanding performance earned him the honor of being named to 1st Team All-Northern all four years.

Norman Bell (1963-1967)

Norm was a three-sport athlete earning six varsity letters in football, wrestling, and track & field during his athletic career at Potsdam. He was a member of the Senior Executive committee, serving as a senior class officer. He was also a member of the Student Council and of the Varsity Club.

Norm played fullback and linebacker on two outstanding football teams. In his junior year, they finished the season with a record of 6-1. With another 6-1 season his senior year, the team was considered to be ‘one of the finest teams in the school’s gridiron history.’ The team scored 39 TDs during the season, averaging more than 6TDs per game while the defense only allowed 1 TD per game. Twelve Potsdam players were named to the All-Northern teams. Norm was named the team’s Most Improved player and was one of those players receiving All-Northern recognition as a fierce defensive competitor from his linebacker position and for his performance at the fullback position. Norm tied and then broke the single season scoring record of 10 and then 11 TDs. The previous record holder was Norm’s brother, Harry. Norm went on to set a team and Northern League scoring record finishing the season with 14 TDs and 6 extra points for a total of 90 points.

In wrestling, Norm developed into a well-rounded wrestler with outstanding skills. In his senior year, the team finished fourth in the Sectionals. As a senior, Norm was one of the most consistent winners, losing only one match, finishing with a personal record of 6-1-1. Norm placed third at the Sectionals at 183 lbs. Norm was a member of the track & field teams his junior and senior years as a sprinter, hurdler, and pole vaulter. Both years, the teams had perfect seasons. In his senior year, the seniors were considered to have played a large part in the team completing the fourth consecutive undefeated season as they won the Northern League Championship.

Daniel Charlebois (1965-1969)

Dan earned ninne varsity letters while at Potsdam in football, hockey, and track. Due to his athletic ability and his character, Dan was selected as captain for football and hockey his junior and senior years. He was also a member of the Varsity Club and Student Council.

Dan started his varsity careers in all three sports his sophomore year. The 1966 football team was a powerhouse offensively and defensively and was known as one of Potsdam’s finest teams, finishing the season at 6-1. On the ice, Dan who usually played defense, was sometimes moved to the center position where he began developing his goal scoring skills. The track team was undefeated and won the Van Dusen for the third consecutive year.

All of Dan‘s coaches instilled in their players the ‘desire to win’ and as Coach Egan said, “…not by chance, but by ability.” With this in mind, Dan continued to develop his skills. As a junior, Dan was one of the high scorers for the hockey season. He was also one of the top finishers in the shot put when the track team posted their fourth consecutive Van Dusen Championship with a Van Dusen record 177 points.

As a senior, Dan was without a doubt one of Potsdam’s top athletes. At the fullback position in football, Dan was involved in many key plays and often ‘booted Potsdam out of trouble with his quick kicks and his punting.’ This year, the hockey team finished in second place behind Lake Placid. Coach Egan described Dan as being ‘a presence on the ice.’ If Dan wasn’t scoring the goals, he was usually in on the play with an assist. He was named First Team All-Northern. As one of the top weight men in the field, Dan started his senior track season by breaking Terry Brockway’s record with a toss of 46’ in the shot put. Later, Dan would reset his own record with a mark of 48’3”. This record held for thirteen years.

James Williams (1996-2001)

James was a three-sport athlete earning 11 varsity letters. He played two years of soccer, four years of hockey, and five years of golf. James was a tremendous leader, serving as captain for soccer and hockey his senior year and for golf his sophomore, junior and senior years.

Coach Daniels, James’ soccer coach, recalls that James was a solid player who could be counted on to make that ‘clutch play.’ This was evident when James used his left foot to score two goals in an upset win over OFA at the Homecoming game his senior year.

James had a very successful hockey career starting his freshman year. As a sophomore, James started making his mark as a defenseman and he received Second Team All-Northern. A solid junior year, James again received Second Team All-Northern recognition. As a senior, James had an excellent season. He led by example and was highly respected by his teammates and opponents alike. Coach Stark pointed out that James was ‘the glue to the team.’ He was named First Team All-Northern. James was also honored with the Steve Riggs Memorial Award, hockey’s MVP for leadership, sportsmanship, and scholarship. Golf was certainly one of James’ top sports. He joined the team as an eighth grader. By his sophomore year, James was recognized as a top contender in the league as a Second Team All-Northern pick. Coach Kmack remembers James as ‘an exceptional golfer who made big plays in the big matches.’ He was selected to the Sectional team as one of the top nine golfers in the league. His junior and senior years, James was named First Team All-Northern. As a senior, James also received the Rick Durkin Memorial Award and the Coaches Award as the outstanding senior golfer.

Lauren Karis (1997-2002)

Lauren was a three-sport varsity athlete, participating in six years of swimming, two years of basketball, and three years of track & field, earning 11 varsity letters during her career at PCS.

Lauren started Varsity swimming as a seventh grader and remained at that level all six years of her career. She was a Section 10 Champion in at least one event every year, making her a State qualifier all six years. These accomplishments earned Lauren First Team All-Northern recognition all six years. Lauren was also Academic All-Northern for her sophomore, junior and senior years.

Among her accomplishments were; 1996 (7th grade): Section 10 Champ—200 Freestyle relay team; 1997 (8th grade): Section 10 Champ—50 Freestyle, 200 Freestyle relay team and 200 Medley relay team; set two school records in 50 Freestyle, 200 Freestyle relay team and a new Section 10 league and meet record in the 200 Freestyle relay team; 1998 (9th grade): Section 10 Champ—50 Freestyle; MVP; 1999 (10th grade): Section 10 Champ—50 Freestyle, 100 Freestyle; 2000 (11th grade): Section 10 Champ—200 Individual Medley, 100 Butterfly; 200 Freestyle relay team, and 400 Freestyle relay team; set school record in 200 IM; set school and Section 10 league record as part of the 200 Freestyle relay team; 2001(12th grade): Section 10 Champ—200 Individual Medley, 200 Freestyle relay team; reset Section 10 league and school record in 200 Freestyle relay team and set school record for 100 Backstroke;

Lauren held the 100 butterfly record for twelve years from 1997-2009.

Lauren still holds the record for the 200 IM (2:25.5), as well as the 50 Freestyle (25.8) and as part of the 200 Medley relay team (2:13.14).

Though swimming was Lauren’s forte, she was also a competitor on the basketball team and a contributing member of the track & field teams.

OUTSTANDING TEAMS

1995 Girls’ Outdoor Track & Field

The 1995 Girls Outdoor Track & Field team continued their winning ways this season. They ended the regular season with a record of 9 wins, 0 losses, for their third straight undefeated season. They also garnered their third consecutive Northern League and Section 10 championships.

Records set in the ’95 season include: Heather Reichhart tied the Van Dusen meet record in the 100m run–12.8; Bridget Reichhart broke the Van Dusen meet record in the 200m run–25.6 and set the school record in the 400m run; Rotem Ayalon set a school record in the 400m hurdles; the 4 X 100m Relay team of Heather Reichhart, Bridget, Reichhart, Felice Atesoglu, and Denise Atesoglu set school and Section 10 records with a time of 50.3 as well as the Van Dusen meet record time of 51.3; the 4 X 400m Relay team of Heather Reichhart, Rotem Ayalon, Sarah Schwob, and Bridget Reichhart broke the Malone Invitational record with a time of 4:10.8, then set school, Section 10, and Van Dusen meet records—4:03.9

State medals were earned when the 4 X 400m relay team had their school and Section 10 record-breaking time of 4:03.1 for a 4th place finish.

Members of the 1994-95 Girls Outdoor Track & Field team, coached by Henry Kriescher and assistant coaches April Martin and Abe Brafman include: Denise Atesoglu, Felice Atesoglu, Rotem Ayalon, Liz Bassity, Felicia Bovay, Christa Brown, Angela Gray, Jennifer Jackson, Theresa Jenack, Sarah Johnson, Alison Loucks, Arian Mahrer, Meghan MacQueen, Corrine Ortmeyer, Shanna Putnam, Bridget Reichhart, Heather Reichhart, Sarah Schwob, June Shen, Ariana Steinberg, Julie Taylor, Kantha Walker, Laura Westerling, Lisa Willard, Katie Williams, and Deirdre Zirn.

1996 Girls Outdoor Track & Field

The 1996 Girls Outdoor Track & Field team ended the regular season with a record of 9-0, finishing their fourth straight season as the undefeated Northern League champions and Van Dusen champions.

Bridget Reichhart received the honor of being named MVP of Section 10. This selection was made by the league coaches. Sarah Schwob was chosen by the league officials to receive the Section 10 Officials Award, given to the outstanding senior scholar athlete.

Members of the 1996 Girls Outdoor Track & Field team, coached by Henry Kriescher and assistant coach April Martin include: Denise Atesoglu, Felice Atesoglu, Liz Bassity, Katie Bassity, Felicia Bovay, Christa Brown, Ann Cheney, Angela Gray, Julia Hewitson, Jennifer Jackson, Sarah Johnson, Jackie Karis, Pascale LaFountain, Alison Loucks, Meghan MacQueen, Jessica Mallette, Heidi Pahler, Shanna Putnam, Bridget Reichhart, Alissa Romoda, Krista Russell, Sarah Schwob, Ariana Steinberg, Jessica Twyman, Kantha Walker, Becky Westerling, Laura Westerling, Lisa Willard, and Katie Williams.

1997 Girls Outdoor Track & Field

For the fifth straight season, the 1997 Girls Outdoor Track & Field team ended the regular season with a record of 9-0, earning them the Northern League and Van Dusen championships.

State meet finishes include the 4 X 100m relay team and the 4 X 400m relay team, both teams finished 7th overall. Bridget Reichhart had an outstanding performance at the State meet in the 400m run. She finished in 2nd place with a school record breaking time of 58.37.

Members of the 1996-97 Girls Outdoor Track & Field team, coached by Henry Kriescher and assistant coach April Martin include: Denise Atesoglu, Rotem Ayalon, Katie Bassity, Christa Brown, Ann Cheney, Lauren Clark, Kate Collins, Danielle Cornett, Meredith Godreau, Julia Hewitson, Jackie Karis, Pascale LaFountain, Chelsea Mackay, Julia Meyer, Kate Palermo, Jill Petercsak, Heather Randall, Bridget Reichhart, Alissa Romoda, Krista Russell, Ariana Steinberg, Jessica Twyman, Kantha Walker, Becky Westerling, and Laura Westerling.

1998 Girls Outdoor Track & Field

The 1998 Girls Outdoor Track & Field team completed another outstanding, undefeated finish with a regular season record of 9-0. And, for the 6th consecutive year, they were named Northern League and Van Dusen champions. In the past six years in Section 10, Coach Kriescher’s teams amassed an overall record of 66 wins and 0 losses.

State meet finishes include Rotem Ayalon with a 4th place finish in the 400m hurdles with a time of 65.9 and Christa Brown placing 5th in the high jump.

The team received recognition for having the highest scholastic average in Section 10—over 95%.

Members of the 1997-98 Girls Outdoor Track & Field team, coached by Henry Kriescher and assistant coach April Martin include: Denise Atesoglu, Rotem Ayalon, Anna Brown, Christa Brown, Lindsay Charlebois, Lauren Clark, Rachel Close, Danielle Cornett, Nicole Cornett, Meredith Godreau, Kristin Kmack, Pascale LaFountain, Rachel Lamson, Chelsea Mackay, Kate Palermo, Jill Petercsak, Heather Randall, Alissa Romoda, Samantha Schilling, Laurie Snell, Missy Tracy, Jessica Twyman, Kantha Walker, and Becky Westerling.

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